A commentary published Sept. 14 ("How many are insured because of Obamacare? Good question") points out the challenge of assessing the Affordable Care Act's impact on closing the insurance gap. Focusing strictly on health "insurance" coverage obscures the crisis in healthcare access across the country that millions continue to live without access to needed health care. In New York, since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there are still 1.5 million individuals without health insurance and countless more who are underinsured -- that is they have insurance but can't access healthcare they need due to high co-pays, deductibles, and rising drug costs.
In a system dominated by private health insurance corporations, those with high incomes can afford adequate health care, while the poor and many middle class cannot. The consequences are tragic. According to a Harvard Study, 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of health insurance. Medical bills contribute to more that 60 percent of all bankruptcies, and most people who file for medical debt related bankruptcy had insurance when they got sick.